Buying Conflict-Free Diamonds
To be a socially and ethically conscious consumer, knowing what you are buying, and that your money is not supporting unethical practices is the most important thing. In the 1990s and 2000s, conflict or "blood" diamonds became notorious among human rights organizations for funding rebel armies in Africa. Illegal sales of blood diamonds has produced billions of dollars to fund civil wars and other conflicts in various African nations, including Sierra Leone (where conflict ended in 2002), Angola, Liberia, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Human rights proponents brought the injustice and the need to regulate the illegal sales of blood diamonds to the forefront of social issues. In 2000, Southern African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, to discuss ways to stop the trade in ‘conflict diamonds' and ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.
As a result, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in December 2000 to support the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds. By November 2002, negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry and civil society organisations resulted in the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) . The KPCS document sets out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade. The KPCS entered into force in 2003, when participating countries started to implement its rules. You can read more on the Kimberley Process here.
The implementation of the Kimberley Process, with more than 70 participating countries, has drastically reduced the illegal sales of conflict diamonds. It is estimated more than 99% of the world's diamonds are legitimate and conflict-free. The diamond industry, from retailers to diamond suppliers, cutters, and miners have to be committed to completely eradicate the sale of conflict diamonds. Each step in the diamond supply chain must ensure that their diamonds are from conflict free sources. In South Africa, the diamond industry is vital to its economy, and with proper regulation can continue to provide a valuable source of income.
As a diamond retailer, Tesoro Diamonds and Fine Jewelry is committed to sourcing all of our diamonds from conflict free sources. We are responsible for ensuring that the diamonds we sell carry a warranty that they are conflict free. If you have any concern with your diamond purchase, please ask for a copy of the diamond supplier's System of Warranties. This states that "The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantee provided by the supplier of these diamonds." It is the policy of Tesoro Diamonds that all our suppliers must provide this warranty.